Labour Camps: Forgotten Sites or Sites of Deliberate Amnesia?

The Legacy of the Workers of the Organisation Todt
  • Gillian CarrEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology book series (CGHA, volume 40)


The vast majority of the thousands of former labour camps of occupied Europe have long since been erased from the landscape. The visible remnants of the practice of modern slave and forced labour in the Channel Islands amount to very little. Even less has undergone the process of heritagisation. A greater amount yet remains to be uncovered by archaeological excavation, but this has never taken place and, in most cases, is unlikely ever to, due to the presence of residential housing on top of key sites. For the small number of camp sites which are potentially available to be turned into heritage but which have not, whether through accident or deliberate intent, we must ask why this has not happened, and I explore this crucial question in this chapter. I also examine the processes through which the acts of forgetting have taken place over the last 70 years, the reasons for the selective presentation, absence or marginalisation of forced and slave labour in island museums and, finally, suggest potential provocative strategies for change.


Slave labour Forced labour Erasure Amnesia Alderney Organisation Todt Memorials lieux d’oubli Russians Orphan heritage Victimhood Dark heritage Stakeholders Lager Wick Bob Le Sueur Cold war 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Catharine’s CollegeCambridgeUK

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